And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.Luke 2:8-10
Shattering the Status Quo of Christmas
Christmas shouts the status-quo-shattering message that God so loved the world that he came to seek and save the least, the last, and the lost. The world conversely lifts up the popular, the powerful, and the “put-together.” If God’s choice to first announce the birth of Jesus to the shepherds doesn’t prove this, then I don’t know what does. We remember that the shepherds were lowly. They could certainly be described as the least and the last. In their religious society, they were even “ceremonially” second class because of the nature of their work with animals.
On face value, the scene of the angel’s proclamation of the gospel to the shepherds is God’s statement that he is redeeming the lowly shepherd. Ironically, throughout the Old Testament God has favour for the shepherd and the shepherd is lifted up. Moses was a shepherd. David prays, “The Lord is my shepherd…” God desires the leaders of his people to be good shepherd. And later Jesus would declare, “I am the good shepherd.” Jesus is the ultimate Shepherd who lays down his life for his people.
You see, Christmas profoundly says, “God so loved the least, the last, and the lost that he was willing to become like the least, the last, and the lost to seek and save them.”
Let’s fast forward to our times, to our culture. Our culture has generally cordoned off Christmas to be accessible only to those with resources. Today, Christmas is difficult to enjoy for the least, the last, and the lost. You need money and resources to buy gifts for everyone, to put up the sparkling decorations, and to supply the grand feasts.
Do you see how a Christmas faithful to the gospel of grace shatters the status quo? Christmas should be a time when we are reminded of God’s heart for the least, the last, and the lost. Scripture is clear to point out God’s immense heart and concern for “the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the foreigner.” I like to call them the “quadfecta” of God’s heart–the people that other’s don’t bet on but God chooses with a longing to defend and lift them.
“Because He Came” Special Christmas Offering
Join us, then, as we begin a new annual church family rhythm to help shatter the status quo. We are beginning a ‘Because He Came’ special Christmas Offering. We invite you to give above and beyond your regular tithes and offerings. Each year, we will give to organizations that minister to the “widows, orphans, the poor, and foreigners.” We want to overflow the glorious truth that Jesus came to save the least, the last, and the lost. We want to overflow the wonderful truth that God loved us first in Christ, therefore we love others. We want to overflow gratitude that Jesus came to us and so we do our best to meet the least, the last, and the lost, the “widows, orphans, the poor, and foreigners” where they are at.
Our 2018 goal is $6000. We desire to give $2000 each to MET, Scott Mission, Jesus Network. MET fights against women being trafficked. They represent for us a ministry that focuses on people who are like “widows” and “orphans.” Scott Mission focuses on the poor of Toronto. And the Jesus Network focuses on the foreigners. Click on the videos below to learn more about each ministry.
We will be collecting during the month of December until Sunday the 31st. On Pushpay, look for the ‘Because He Came’ category or use the specially marked envelopes at the back offering table. ALL proceeds, including funds raised beyond our goal, go to our donees.